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Culture Traditional forms of Art - Professions made of stone Epirus Konitsa

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made of stone
Silver work
Wood sculpture
Hagiography - Painting
Lakka Souli
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In the region of Ipirus and more specifically in the prefecture of Ioannina the masons of stone during the previous centuries became very prominent. They built renowned works and were creators of the entire building environment. They built traditional communities, bridges, churches, homes, mosques, mills, fountains etc.
The groups of Ipirite masons originated by rule from the areas of Konitsa, the renowned mason-villages, such as Vourbiani and Pyrsogianni as well as from the villages of Xionades, Molista, Peklari (Pigi), Kerasovo, Kortinitsa (Nikanor), Grisbani (Elefthero) but also from the village of Tzoumerka such as Pramanta, Melissourgi, Ktistades, Raftanaioi, Ampeloxori, Agnanta, Gourgiana, Koukoulia, Graikiko, Mixalitsi, Xouliarades, Petrovouni and Vaptistis.
The materials and manner of construction of all works, ecclesiastical but also secular, were directly related.
This of course is due to the travelling groups of the masons (bouloukia), who build bridges, mosques, homes or churches etc. and indeed according to the custom of each area. They use materials found in abundance in nature and adapt them to the environment.
The inscriptions of the Catholics of the Monasteries or the parish churches, while referencing quite a number of elements regarding the owners and hagiographers, do not mention the masons or construction foremen at all. It is primarily because of this reason that we do not have a lot of information regarding them and their names.
In areas such as Zagori and the greater Ipirus region worked primarily the neighboring Konistiotes technicians that originated from the older and more famous mason-villages, Vourbiani and Pyrsogianni. In the later period of Turkish domination it appears that Tzoumerkiotes or western Macedonians from Zoupani (Pentalofos Kozani) were also builders. The travels also follow the fame of the masons with a range of activity, during the period of Turkish domination, throughout the entire Balkan region, Asia Minor and not only.
Through the isnafia (bouloukia) of the Ipirite masons and their travels, during the period of Turkish domination, in the entire Greek region, the Balkan Peninsula and Mount Athos, the Byzantine artistic tradition and ability survived, always adapted to the special local conditions and the spirit of the era. The masons are the ones who decide regarding most of the elements of the works they are called upon to build, such as for example churches and when they referred to the “old style” they know the typology, the construction methods and the architectural shapes of the Byzantine churches.
Finally in the latest years (19th century and first half of the 20th) the stone masons and their teams reach many areas of the world, such as for example Asia, Africa and others.